Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, Nature, Science / 11.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50651" align="alignleft" width="200"]Adnan Hirad, PhD MD Candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Dr. Hirad[/caption] Adnan Hirad, PhD MD Candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Concussion is defined based on the manifestation of observable signs and symptoms (e.g., dizziness, difficulty with concentration, loss of consciousness, inter alia). A non-concussive head injury is when someone hits their head but does not exhibit the signs and symptoms of concussion -- IE concussion is defined by observable signs, and sub-concussive is defined as sustaining  head impacts similar (in magnitude and mechanism) to those sustained with concussion without observable signs and/or symptoms. These hits are a problem not only in football, but also with IED/bomb blasts experienced during war and potentially rugby. 
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Pediatrics / 11.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50220" align="alignleft" width="144"]Sean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director of the Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital  Dr. Rose[/caption] Sean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director of the Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Very limited data has been collected in children while they are playing contact sports to study the relationship between repetitive head impacts and neurocognitive outcomes.  We previously published a 1-year analysis of youth tackle football players and found no association between the number or severity of head impacts and performance on neurocognitive testing before to after the football season.  We are now reporting the results from the 2nd year of our study, tracking children through two seasons of football participation. We measured head impacts using helmet sensors during the 2016 and 2017 football seasons.  In the total group of 166 players age 9-18, one outcome measure (processing speed), out of the 23 outcome measures studied, declined over time.  However, several other measures that also assessed processing speed did not decline.  Neither the total burden of head impacts nor the intensity of individual impacts were associated with changes in testing performance over the course of the two seasons.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Columbia, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, NEJM, Neurology / 27.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49981" align="alignleft" width="134"]Jan Claassen, MD, PhD, FNCS Associate Professor of Neurology Division of Division of Critical Care and Hospitalist Neurology Columbia University Medical Center Dr. Claassen[/caption] Jan Claassen, MD, PhD, FNCS Associate Professor of Neurology Division of Division of Critical Care and Hospitalist Neurology Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Unconsciousness is common and predicting recovery is challenging – often inaccurate. Many patients do not show movements on commands and typically this is interpreted as unconsciousness. Some of these patients may be able to have brain response to these commands raising the possibility of some preservation of consciousness. This has previously been shown months or years after the injury mostly using MRI. We were able to detect this activation at the bedside in the ICU shortly after brain injury. For this we applied machine learning to the EEG to distinguish the brain’s responses to commands. Patients that showed this activation were more likely to follow commands prior to discharge and had better outcomes one year later. 
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, University Texas / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49930" align="alignleft" width="175"]Kevin F. Bieniek, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine Director, Biggs Institute Brain Bank Core Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio San Antonio, Texas 78229 Dr. Bieniek[/caption] Kevin F. Bieniek, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine Director, Biggs Institute Brain Bank Core Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio San Antonio, Texas 78229 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by CTE?   Response: CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is linked to prior exposure to repetitive traumatic brain injuries.  CTE pathology, characterized by a distinct deposition pattern of the protein ‘tau’, is most often observed in the brains former contact sport athletes and military veterans.  The public health impacts of this disorder are largely unknown, as this disease is often studied in individuals which advanced levels of exposure, particularly professional American football player. This study aimed to understand what the presence of this disorder might be in the general population by studying athletes and non-athletes, a number of different sports, different levels of participation, and both males and females.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Neurological Disorders, Neurology, Stroke / 12.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49129" align="alignleft" width="128"]Thomas M Van Vleet PhDPosit Science  Dr. Van Vleet[/caption] Thomas M Van Vleet PhD Posit Science  Dr. Tom Van Vleet,  presented results on a common symptom of stroke and acquired brain injury (hemi-spatial neglect) at the American Academy of Neurology May 2019 MedicalResearch.com: What makes this study newsworthy? Response For the first time ever a highly-scalable intervention — computerized brain training (BrainHQ made by Posit Science) —was found to improve symptoms of hemi-spatial neglect, which is a common and often intractable and debilitating problem after stroke or other acquired brain injury. MedicalResearch.com: What can you tell us about the medical condition (hemi-spatial neglect) investigated in this study? Response About a third of patients with a brain injury exhibit a complex and debilitating array of neurological deficits known as the “neglect syndrome” (sometimes called, “hemi-spatial neglect” or “neglect”). The most apparent symptom of neglect is the inability of patients to efficiently process information on the side of space opposite the injury; often completely missing relevant events without awareness. As a result, patients often fail to adopt compensatory strategies or respond to other conventional rehabilitation protocols. The cost is significant, as patients with neglect experience longer hospital stays and have higher requirements for assistance, including greater skilled nursing home placements relative to patients with similar extent of brain injury without neglect. To date, there’s been no broadly-applicable and highly-scalable intervention for addressing neglect. An alarming reality given the increasing cost of stroke, which is currently estimated to exceed $34 billion per annum
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brain Injury / 29.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48921" align="alignleft" width="133"]Dr. Joseph A Schwartz PhD Public Affairs and Community Service, Criminology and Criminal Justice University of Nebraska Omaha, 6001 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE Dr. Schwartz[/caption] Dr. Joseph A Schwartz PhD Public Affairs and Community Service, Criminology and Criminal Justice University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: My larger research agenda is focused on identifying the ways in which environmental and biological influences work collectively to shape behavioral patterns across major stages of the life course. I am particularly interested in identifying environmental influences that can change biological functioning or activity to result in behavioral change. Brain injury was a natural progression of these interests since brain injury is expected to result in changes in the structure and functioning of the brain, which has been linked to meaningful changes in behavior. There have also been a sizable number of studies that indicate that justice involved populations experience brain injury at a rate that is between five and eight times what is observed in the general population. I was fascinated by this finding and thought that brain injury may be a good candidate influence to investigate further.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Pediatrics / 07.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47249" align="alignleft" width="133"]John J. Leddy, MD Clinical Professor Department of Orthopaedics Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences University of Buffalo Dr. Leddy[/caption] John J. Leddy, MD Clinical Professor Department of Orthopaedics Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences University of Buffalo MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sport-related concussion (SRC) is a significant public health problem without an effective treatment. Recent International Guidelines have questioned the efficacy of recommending complete rest to treat concussion and have called for prospective studies to evaluate early active treatments for sport-related concussion. 
Author Interviews, Brain Injury / 03.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert Ross, Ph.D. Assistant Professor McConnell Hall, Room 424 University of New Hampshire  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the United States, 1.5-2 million people suffer from mild traumatic brain injuries, more commonly referred to as concussions, per year. There is a large body of work illustrating the cognitive impairments associated with concussions in the immediate aftermath of the concussive event. However, it is not clear whether concussions can change cognition more long-term and how concussions might change how the brain functions during specific types of cognition. In our study, we examined executive function, which is a cognitive process that helps control or manage other cognitive functions, in a group of healthy young adults aged 18-24 that had suffered at least two concussions and compared their performance and their brain oscillations to a group that had not suffered any concussions. Brain oscillations help the brain coordinate the activity of the thousands of neurons necessary for any sort of cognitive process to occur. The participants in the study self-reported their concussions with all concussions occurring at least one month prior to participating in the experiment.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Gender Differences, JAMA, Pediatrics / 05.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45692" align="alignleft" width="142"]Andrée-Anne Ledoux, PhD Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Dr. Ledoux[/caption] Andrée-Anne Ledoux, PhD Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute Ottawa, Ontario, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The natural recovery processes from a pediatric concussion remains poorly characterized throughout childhood. Children’s brains go through many phases of growth during development and sex differences exist. Therefore a 6-year-old child may not have the same recovery trajectory as an adolescent because of biopsychosocial differences. Thus, this study explored symptom improvement after concussion while considering these two key demographic factors. Understanding symptom improvement at different stages of development is important in order to provide the best possible care. The study examined data from 2,716 children and adolescents who had presented at nine emergency departments across Canada and were diagnosed with concussion. We examined the natural progression of self-reported symptom recovery following pediatric concussion over the initial three months after injury. Participants in the study were aged 5 to 18 years old with acute concussion, enrolled from August 1, 2013, to May 31, 2015. We examined different age cohorts – 5 to 7 years of age, 8 to 12 years of age, and 13 to 18 years of age, and investigated how sex is associated with recovery. Our study represents the largest study to evaluate symptom improvement trajectories in concussed pediatric population.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Heart Disease, JAMA, Neurology / 31.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45585" align="alignleft" width="133"]Dr-Marion Moseby-Knappe Dr. Moseby-Knappe[/caption] Marion Moseby-Knappe, MD Neurologist and Researcher Center for Cardiac Arrest at Lund University and Skane University Hospital Lund, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our research focuses on improving methods for examining unconscious patients treated on intensive care units after cardiac arrest. If a patient does not wake up within the first days after cardiac arrest, physicians need to evaluate how likely it is that the patient will awaken at all and to which extent there is brain injury. According to European and American guidelines, decisions on further medical treatment of cardiac arrest patients should always be based on a combination of examinations and not only one single method. Various methods are combined when assessing the patient such as examining different neurologic reflexes, head scans (computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging), other specialist examinations (electroencephalogram or somatosensory evoked potentials) or blood markers. Our research focuses on patients included in the largest cardiac arrest trial to date, the Targeted Temperature Management after Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (TTM) Trial.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, Pediatrics / 26.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital Assistant professor of Pediatrics The Ohio State UniversitySean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital Assistant professor of Pediatrics The Ohio State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The link between sub-concussive head impacts and declines in neurocognitive function has been reported by some studies, yet refuted by others.  There is very little evidence that has been collected in children as they are sustaining these head impacts. We initiated a multi-year study of youth football players to provide a more in-depth look at the question.  We measured head impacts using helmet sensors during the 2016 football season.  112 players age 9-18 completed a battery of neurocognitive tests before and after the football season. We found that neither the total burden of head impacts nor the intensity of individual impacts were associated with changes in testing performance from pre to post-season.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, CT Scanning, Emergency Care, Lancet, Technology / 16.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Qure-ai.jpgSasank Chilamkurthy AI Scientist, Qure.ai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Head CT scan is one of the most commonly used imaging protocols besides chest x-ray. They are used for patients with symptoms suggesting stroke, rise in intracranial pressure or head trauma. These manifest in findings like intracranial haemorrhage, midline shift or fracture. Scans with these critical findings need to be read immediately. But radiologists evaluate the scans on first-come-first-serve basis or based on stat/routine markers set by clinicians. If the scans with critical findings are somehow pushed to the top of radiologists’ work list, it could substantially decrease time to diagnosis and therefore decrease mortality and morbidity associated with stroke/head trauma.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, CDC, JAMA, Pediatrics / 05.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44283" align="alignleft" width="174"]Matt Breiding, PhD Team Lead, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention Center for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Breiding[/caption] Matt Breiding, PhD Team Lead, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention Center for Disease Control and Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body, a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can lead to short- or long-term problems that can affect how a child thinks, acts, feels, and learns. CDC’s Pediatric mTBI Guideline is based on the most comprehensive review of the science on pediatric mTBI diagnosis and management to date—covering 25 years of research. The guideline consists of 19 sets of clinical recommendations that cover diagnosis, prognosis, and management and treatment. These recommendations are applicable to healthcare providers who care for pediatric patients with mTBI in all practice settings and outline actions healthcare providers can take to improve the health of their patients with this injury. The CDC Pediatric mTBI Guideline outlines specific actions healthcare providers can take to help young patients and includes 5 key recommendations.  Specifically, they recommend that physicians:
  1. Refrain from routinely imaging pediatric patients to diagnose mTBI.
  2. Use validated, age-appropriate symptom scales to diagnose mTBI.
  3. Assess for risk factors for prolonged recovery, including: history of mTBI or other brain injury, severe symptom presentation immediately after the injury, and personal characteristics and family history (such as learning difficulties and family and social stressors).
  4. Provide patients with instructions on returning to activity customized to their symptoms.
  5. Counsel patients to return gradually to non-sports activities after no more than a 2-3 days of rest.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Imperial College, Pediatrics / 30.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Baby” by Victor is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Chris Gale Clinical Senior Lecturer in Neonatal Medicine Imperial College London and Consultant Neonatologist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As part of a drive to make England a safer place to give birth, the Department of Health in England has set a target of reducing the number of babies that incur brain injury during or soon after birth by 20% by 2020 and to halve them by 2030. Before now United Kingdom health services did not have a standard definition of brain injury in babies and there has been no systematic collection of data for this purpose. With colleagues and in collaboration with the Department of Health, we have devised a practical way to measure the incidence rate of brain injury in babies using routinely recorded data held in the National Neonatal Research Database. The research estimated that 3,418 babies suffered conditions linked to brain injury at or soon after birth in 2015, which equates to an incidence rate of 5.14 per 1,000 live births. For preterm births (babies born at or less than 37 weeks) the rate was 25.88 per 1,000 live births in 2015, almost six times greater than the rate for full-term births, which was 3.47 per 1,000 live births. Overall, the research found that the most common type of condition that contributed brain injuries was damage caused by lack of oxygen to the brain, called hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy; this is seen mainly in term babies. For preterm babies, the largest contributor to brain injuries is from bleeding into and around the ventricles of the brain, a condition called periventricular haemorrhage. It is also the first time that brain injuries in babies have been measured using data gathered routinely during day to day clinical care on NHS neonatal units. The use of routine data required no additional work for clinical staff and provides a valuable way to measure the effectiveness of interventions to reduce brain injury.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Brain Injury, Lancet / 09.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_38107" align="alignleft" width="200"]Prof.dr. J van der Naalt PhD Department of Neurology University Medical Center Groningen Groningen, The Netherlands Prof J van der Naalt[/caption] Prof.dr. J van der Naalt PhD Department of Neurology University Medical Center Groningen Groningen, The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Mild traumatic brain injury occurs frequently and is one of the leading cause of morbidity in adults worldwide. It is a major social-economic problem with one in three patients had persistent complaints several months after injury that interfere with resumption of daily activities and work. One of the most important questions concerns the finding that some patients recover without complaints and others do not after sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury. In a follow-up study with more than 1000 participants we found that personality factors are a major factor in the recovery process. In particular coping, that is the way patients adapt to persistent complaints, is important next to emotional distress and impact of the injury. In an add-on study with fMRI we found that in the early phase after injury, the interaction between specific brain networks was temporarily changed. However, when regarding persistent posttraumatic complaints , specific personality characteristics significantly determine long term outcome.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Brain Injury, JAMA / 01.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36257" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr-Adrian-Harel.jpg Dr. Adrian Harel[/caption] Dr. Adrian Harel, PhD Chief Executive Officer Medicortex Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Every 15 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a new head injury. Of the 2.5M people treated in hospital emergency rooms each year, 80,000 become permanently disabled because of TBI. Currently, there are no reliable diagnostic tests to assess the presence or severity of an injury on-site, nor are there any pharmaceutical therapies that could stop the secondary injury from spreading. Accurate diagnostics would benefit especially mild cases of TBI (concussions), which, if occurring repeatedly, may cause neurodegenerative conditions such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (which is typical for athletes in NFL and Ice-hockey). We have performed extensive preclinical research comparing fluid biopsies from normal and injured lab animals. The results showed some unique biomarkers released as a biodegradation products after head injury. The data served as the basis and confirmation for our patent applications to protect the biomarker concept. Medicortex has completed a clinical proof-of-concept trial in collaboration with Turku University Hospital (Tyks). Samples from 12 TBI patients and 12 healthy volunteers were collected and analyzed for the presence and for the level of the biomarker in state-of-the-art laboratories. The study demonstrated the diagnostic potential of the new biomarker in humans and it confirmed the prior preclinical findings. This was a significant milestone for Medicortex.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brain Injury / 08.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31844" align="alignleft" width="142"]Julianne Schmidt, PhD, ATC Assistant Professor Department of Kinesiology The University of Georgia Athens GA Dr. Julianne Schmidt[/caption] Julianne Schmidt, PhD, ATC Assistant Professor Department of Kinesiology The University of Georgia Athens GA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Less than half of all people with a concussion intend to reduce their driving at any point. Current recommendations surrounding concussion focus on when it is safe to return to sport or return to the classroom, but return to driving is usually ignored and has not been studied.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA, Pediatrics / 21.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_30597" align="alignleft" width="137"]Roger Zemek, MD, FRCPC Associate Professor, Dept of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Clinical Research Chair in Pediatric Concussion, University of Ottawa Director, Clinical Research Unit, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Ottawa, ON Dr. Roger Zemek[/caption] Roger Zemek, MD, FRCPC Associate Professor, Dept of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Clinical Research Chair in Pediatric Concussion, University of Ottawa Director, Clinical Research Unit, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Ottawa, ON MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While current concussion protocols endorse the conservative view that children should avoid physical activity until completely symptom-free, there is little evidence beyond expert opinion regarding the ideal timing of physical activity re-introduction. In fact, while rest does play a role in concussion recovery, protracted physical rest may actually negatively impact concussion recovery. Further, physiological, psychological, and functional benefits of early physical rehabilitation are observed in other disease processes such as stroke (which is an example of a severe traumatic brain injury). Therefore, our objective was to investigate the relationship between early physical activity (defined within 7 days of the concussion) and the eventual development of persistent post-concussion symptoms at one month.
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Brain Injury, Depression, JAMA / 26.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_27935" align="alignleft" width="200"]Ricardo E. Jorge MD Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Director Houston Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders Senior Scientist Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Division of Neuropsychiatry Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Ricardo Jorge[/caption] Ricardo E. Jorge  MD Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Director Houston Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders Senior Scientist  Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Division of Neuropsychiatry Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center Baylor College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Depressive disorders affect between one-third and one-half of patients with traumatic brain injury. Once established, these disorders are difficult to treat and frequently follow a chronic and refractory course. Depression has a deleterious effect on TBI outcomes, particularly affecting the community reintegration of TBI patients. In this randomized clinical trial that included 94 adult patients with TBI, the hazards for developing depression for participants receiving placebo were about 4 times the hazards of participants receiving sertraline treatment.
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Brain Injury, Depression, JAMA / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28208" align="alignleft" width="200"]Ricardo E. Jorge MD Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Director Houston Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders Senior Scientist Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Division of Neuropsychiatry Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Ricardo Jorge[/caption] Ricardo E. Jorge MD Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Director Houston Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders Senior Scientist Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky Division of Neuropsychiatry Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center Baylor College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Depressive disorders affect between one-third and one-half of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Once established, these disorders are difficult to treat and frequently follow a chronic and refractory course. Depression has a deleterious effect on TBI outcomes, particularly affecting the community reintegration of TBI patients. In this randomized clinical trial that included 94 adult patients with TBI, the hazards for developing depression for participants receiving placebo were about 4 times the hazards of participants receiving sertraline treatment.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA, Pediatrics / 02.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23916" align="alignleft" width="200"]Zachary Y. Kerr, PhD, MPH Sports Injury Epidemiologist Director, NCAA Injury Surveillance Program Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention Indianapolis, IN 46202 Dr. Zachary Keff[/caption] Zachary Y. Kerr, PhD, MPH Sports Injury Epidemiologist Director, NCAA Injury Surveillance Program Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention Indianapolis, IN 46202 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kerr: A 2013 Institutes of Medicine report called for more research on concussion in athletes aged 5-21 years.  Although there is much research on the incidence of concussion across this age span, there is less related to outcomes such as symptoms and return to play time, let along comparisons by age. In examining sport-related concussions that occurred in youth, high school, and college football, we found differences in the symptomatology and return to play time of concussed players.  For example, the odds of return to play time being under 24 hours was higher in youth than in college.  Also, over 40% of all concussions were returned to play in 2 weeks or more.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness / 26.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_23773" align="alignleft" width="118"]Jaclyn B. Caccese MS The University of Delaware PhD Candidate Biomechanics and Movement Science Jaclyn Caccese[/caption] Jaclyn B. Caccese MS The University of Delaware PhD Candidate Biomechanics and Movement Science  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recently, there has been increased concern regarding the adverse effects of repetitively heading soccer balls on brain function. While some studies have shown impaired balance and vision, it is unclear if these deficits are acute or chronic adaptations. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify changes in postural control and vestibular/ocular motor function immediately following an acute bout of 12 purposeful soccer headers. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: The main finding of this study was that women's soccer players showed an increase in sway velocity, but no other changes in balance or vestibular/ocular motor function were identified.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Genetic Research / 09.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22498" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Jane McDevitt Temple University in Philadelphia Dr. Jane McDevitt[/caption] Dr. Jane McDevitt Temple University in Philadelphia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. McDevitt: During a head impact there is a mechanical load that causes acceleration and deceleration forces on the brain within the cranium. The acceleration and deceleration causes stress to the neurons and initiates a neurometabolic cascade, where excitatory neurotransmitters such as glutamate are released and depolarize the cell.  This triggers protein channels to open and allow ions into and out of the cell.  Increases in calcium persist longer and have greater magnitude of imbalance than any other ionic disturbance. One channel responsible for allowing calcium into the cell is r-type voltage-gated calcium channel.  One of the main proteins within this voltage-gated calcium channel is the CACNA1E protein produced by the CACNA1E gene. This protein forms the external pore and contains a pair of glutamate residues that are required for calcium selectivity.   It is also responsible for modulating neuronal firing patterns. A variation within this gene (i.e,CACNA1E ) that regulates expression levels of CACNA1E could be associated with how an athlete recovers following a concussion injury. Upwards of 20% of the concussed population fall into the prolonged recovery category, which puts these athletes at risk for returning to play quicker than they should. Variation in recovery depends on extrinsic factors like magnitude of impact, and sport, or intrinsic factors like age or sex. One intrinsic factor that has not been definitively parsed out is genetic variation. Recovery is likely to be influenced by genetics because genes determine the structure and function of proteins involved in the cell’s resistance and response to mechanical stress. Due to CACNA1E’s relationship to calcium influx regulation, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) could modify the expression level of the protein responsible for regulating calcium. Altered protein levels could lead to athlete’s responding to concussive injuries differently. The main objective of this study was to examine the association between CACNA1E SNPs with concussion recovery in athletes.
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, BMJ, Brain Injury, CDC, Pediatrics / 29.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_16316" align="alignleft" width="200"]Joanne Klevens, MD, PhD Division of Violence Prevention US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia Dr. Joanne Klevens[/caption] Dr. Joanne Klevens, MD, PhD, MPH Division of Violence Prevention US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Klevens: Pediatric abusive head trauma is a leading cause of fatal child maltreatment among young children and current prevention efforts have not been proven to be consistently effective. In this study, compared to seven states with no paid family leave policies, California’s policy showed significant decreases of hospital admissions for abusive head trauma in young children. This impact was observed despite low uptake of policy benefits by Californians, particularly among populations at highest risk of abusive head trauma.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, CMAJ, Mental Health Research / 09.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21256" align="alignleft" width="144"]Dr. Donald Redelmeier MD, MSHSR, FRCPC, FACP Senior core scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Toronto, Ontario Dr. Donald Redelmeier[/caption] Dr. Donald Redelmeier MD, MSHSR, FRCPC, FACP Senior core scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Toronto, Ontario Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Redelmeier: Head injury can lead to suicide in military veterans and professional athletes; however, whether a mild concussion acquired in community settings is also a risk factor for suicide is unknown. Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Dr. Redelmeier: We studies 235,110 patients diagnosed with a concussion and found that  667 subsequently died from suicide. The median delay was about 6 years. This risk was about 32 per 100,000 patients annually, which is 3x the population norm and especially high if the concussion occurred on a weekend (from recreation) rather than a weekday (from employment).
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, NEJM / 07.10.2015

Prof. Peter JD Andrews Honorary Professor Department of Anaesthesia University of EdinburghMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Peter JD Andrews Honorary Professor Department of Anaesthesia University of Edinburgh  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Prof. Andrews: Therapeutic hypothermia has shown considerable promise as a neuro-protective intervention in many species and models of cerebral injury in the laboratory. Clinical trials after neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and cardiac arrest (global cereal ischemia) show signal of benefit. The outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI) has not improved in the last 20 years. Clinical trials of prophylactic therapeutic hypothermia for neuroprotection after traumatic brain injury show a mixed outcome, however, the larger trials are all neutral or have a trend toward harm. Because traumatic brain injury is a heterogeneous pathology it has been suggest that the therapeutic hypothermia intervention should be adjusted according to response of a biomarker, to maximize benefit and limit any harms. The EUROTHERM3235Trial was a trial of therapeutic hypothermia to reduce brain swelling after traumatic brain injury. Brain swelling was measured by an intracranial pressure (ICP) probe directly inserted into the brain. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Prof. Andrews: Hypothermia successfully reduced intracranial pressure, but did not improve outcomes compared to standard care alone, with more than a third achieving a good outcome in the standard care group and one a quarter in the hypothermia group.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Brain Injury / 31.07.2015

Dr. Heinrich Thaler Trauma Hospital Meidling Vienna AustriaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Heinrich Thaler Trauma Hospital Meidling Vienna Austria Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Thaler:  An increased prevalence of minor head injuries in elderly patients combined with the frequent use of platelet aggregation inhibitors resulted in increased hospital admissions and cranial computed tomography. We undertook the study with the aim to reduce the workload of medical staff and costs as well as the radiation burden in the management of patients with mild head injuries. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Thaler:  S 100B is a reliable negative predictor in elderly patients and/or in patients on platelet aggregation inhibitors to rule out an intracranial hemorrhage after minor head injury (S100B is an astroglial derived protein detectable in serum in the case of cerebral tissue damage). The negative predictive value of S100B is 99,6%. We conclude that S100B levels below 0.105 µg/L can accurately predict a normal cranial computed tomography after minor head injury in older patients and those on antiplatelet medication. Additionally we found no increased risk for intracranial hemorrhage in older patients or in patients receiving antiplatelet therapy.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 14.06.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kimberly Allen PhD, RN Assistant Professor Center dr-kimberly-allenfor Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research Department Women Children and Family Health Science Chicago, IL 60612 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Allen: Pediatric traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.Each year in the United States over 1Ž2 million children are admitted to the hospital for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Depending on the severity of the injury and how the individual child responds to the primary injury, a range of medical care may be necessary from an overnight hospital admission for observation to admission in the intensive care unit (ICU) and inpatient rehabilitation facility to re-teach and help to recover skills children once knew. The short- and long-term consequences of traumatic brain injuries include: motor and sensory impairments; cognitive, emotional, psychosocial impairments; headaches, and sleep disruptions. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Allen: The main finding from this pilot study with two groups with 15 children in each group: one of children with traumatic brain injuries and one of typically, developing healthy children was that children with traumatic brain injuries have significantly more daytime sleepiness and worse sleep quality compared to the control group. Additionally, children with TBI also had lower overall  functional scores (e.g, school, social) compared to the controlled children. All of the surveys were completed by the child’s parent.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Yale / 09.03.2015

Dr. Pina Violano, RN, PhD Trauma Department, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital New Haven 06510, CTMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Pina Violano, RN, PhD Trauma Department, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital New Haven 06510, CT MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Violano: In July of 2012, Connecticut became one of the first states to enact legislation to ensure the safety and appropriate evaluation and management of sports-related concussions (SRC) among High School students. SRCs are a common occurrence in high school sports with their diagnosis increasing over the last decade. While the exact reasons are not known, public health campaign efforts and education may have facilitated improvement in the evaluation and detection of sports-related concussions and may have contributed to increase awareness and treatment. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Dr. Violano: Evaluation of two emergency department records revealed a marked increase in the frequency of high school student athletes being treated for sports-related concussions after the implementation of Connecticut’s SRC law. This suggests that Connecticut’s legislation is effective in improving the evaluation and detection of sports-related concussions in high school students.